Historic Annual 160th Session
PLANTING FOR THE FUTURE
Trying to report on this session is a major challenge. To say it was historic, a watershed or mountaintop experience is an understatement. Messengers made several decisions that will shape the future direction of the association and made a new commitment to reach our own community.
The messengers approved a motion from the Vision Planning Committee to complete phase two of the Missions Resource Center. It will include the construction of a large meeting area that will seat 160+ with the vision of providing a place for new church starts. Church planting is urgently needed in our county as we have tripled in population in the past 20 years and even with the growth experienced by the number of new member congregations, we have continued to become a smaller percentage of the residents living here. The current large room will be reconfigured into three good sized conference rooms available for Bible study, education and other break out functions. The project includes the obtaining of one- half acre of adjoining land to increase parking capacity. This will make the Mission Resource Center the largest associational facility in North Carolina and greatly expand our outreach, educational and conferencing capabilities.
The cost is estimated to be $ 400,000 to $415,000 and depends on the contribution of our volunteers to finish the interior work.
A 5-K-2 challenge to raise $100,000 over the next two years has been given to our members and congregations. If 20 people and/or congregations will commit to contributing $5,000 over the next two years, we will meet our goal. You may even form a team to support your response to the challenge. Contributions of any amount are encouraged and welcomed by the association and may be sent to Union Baptist Association, PO Box 596, Monroe, N.C. 28111. Exceeding the challenge will enable the earlier retirement of the balance and save valuable mission dollars. This is a genuine opportunity to plant seeds for many decades to come and is a powerful way to join the Lord in a ministry of outreach and evangelism. Is the Lord laying this challenge on your heart or the heart of your church? There are individuals and congregations who can meet this challenge today. Let me reach out to you and urge you to join me in the making this commitment. I would welcome the opportunity to speak and pray with you as you are led to join this partnership in church planting.
You may also like to know that the Missions Committee brought the name of The Invitation Church to the association for approval of watch care into our fellowship. The mission of church planting has already begun!
In closing, I would like to share the last paragraph of my annual “State Of The Union” report with you:
“Finally, let me say a word not about our past journey together but of the future God has for Union Baptist Association. There is strength and opportunity in working together while respecting the freedom and vision of each of our churches. The greatest days of this body are before it, not behind it. Dream the dream again but cast a clear vision of where God is leading this fellowship. Don’t question the doors the Lord opens but step through them in faith, vision and commitment. He will provide the resources and the harvest, our task is to plant the seeds for those who will come after our share of the work is finished.”